I am opposed to the
proposed new banquet center at Indiana Dunes Sate park, for many reasons.
Were there any
environmental studies done? Why was this sweetheart deal with politically
connected business people kept secret? (Oh wait, the DNR back in April
stated that they did not want public input! Amazing, that fact.)
What about parking
for events there? Where will the handicapped park to enjoy a beach view?
What about congestion on St. Rd. 49? What about the losses to local
businesses, including the existing banquet centers? We currently have two
upscale centers, The Waterbird and The Spa, plus many other venues that can
hold weddings and parties, including the veterans organizations and local
churches. How much business will they lose?
How much will other
local business lose when people only come for the state park events and
bypass our town? How about the dangers to the migratory birds and new
lighting to prevent night sky viewing? Any environmental studies done on
My most vehement
objections relate to the sale of alcohol at the new proposed building (and
within 100 feet of the said building), alcohol and the Lake Michigan do not
mix. I know that first hand from many nights spent at Dune Acres beach
parties. Crazy stuff, coast guard rescues, rescues from locals who kept
their own boats right on the beach.
I was a lifeguard
at Indiana Dunes State Park in 1971/72.
One summer I
watched as other guards tried to save the life of a 10 year old girl who
later died. Her parents said she was an experienced swimmer, but she had gum
in her mouth and the waves were heavy. The beach probably should have been
closed that day, the waves were heavy and five people were pulled out, four
lived. People often stroll down to Porter beach or far away from guarded
areas to swim when the beach is closed. Anyone who reads a paper knows that
people die every year in Lake Michigan, and that doesn’t always even involve
alcohol. Lake Michigan can be dangerous even on calm days. Just three
weekends ago four teenage boys had to be rescued at Porter Beach. I live
near Waverly Rd., which leads to that beach, and often hear the emergency
sirens screaming down there trying to save people. It is heartbreaking.
Add in alcohol and
it is a disaster waiting to happen. When a tipsy wedding guest decides it
would fun to take a dip in the lake who knows what could happen. Guests
eating out there after the events and weddings and deciding to swim, what
will happen? When the lifeguards are off duty and have left, who will patrol
the beach? What if the waves are heavy and a drunk person is not aware of
the danger? I have not yet heard of the PPLLC owners promising patrols, or
signing waivers to take responsibility if someone drowns. And after hours
are the first responders in Porter and Chesterton fully staffed and ready to
roll with the right equipment to save a drowning victim? If someone drowns
and their family decides to sue the state park, or DNR - who will be
Have you heard
about the new fad that brides have of “trashing the dress” after a wedding?
They step in creeks, small lakes, and if this building is built they will
have the opportunity to step into a very big lake. Even if the waters are
calm, the combination of heavy dresses and water could mean dead brides. The
thought horrifies me. Alcohol was banned from the beach for a reason and
that was during regular beach hours. I can only imagine the problems caused
by late night revelers who’ve had a few drinks and decide to enter that
Did the PPLLC even
take these things into consideration, or is this why it was kept secret?
This evil dangerous building should never be built. I am shocked that
a member of the Tourism board is also a member of the PPLLC, there is not
just a conflict of interest, but how can a person who cares about NWI
tourism even consider such a new building that will cause so much harm? Oh,
sorry I know the answer to that - greed and profits. The rent of $18,000
would buy a nice 4 bedroom house around here, this massive building is so
much bigger. And the 2 percent they will pay after two years will all stay
down state rather than in the local economy. And not having to pay any
property taxes that would stay in the local area - what a great deal for
This must be
I hope to see a big
crowd asking the many questions that need answers this Thursday at 5 p.m. at
the Memorial Opera house in Valparaiso.
(And why was that
meeting moved so far south, even that seems suspicious.)